An innovative silicon nanoblade design can convert waste heat to useable electricity—offering better cooling as well as a source of power.
The nanoblade design was created by teams by the University of Texas and Texas Instruments, and could have significant applications in cooling circuits and powering IoT sensors. As an alternative to rare and toxic materials, the nanoblades are made up of a crystalline form of silicon shaped into a blade only 80nm thick and more than eight times that in width. This specialized shape will conform to chip-manufacturing rules, allowing the blades to be mass produced at a reasonable cost.
According to Professor Dr. Mark Lee, “There is a sweet spot that, with our nanoblades, we’re much closer to finding than anyone else. The change in the form of silicon studied changed the game.”